Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman likes to point out sometimes the answer is on your roster. In terms of finding a replacement for injured edge rusher Mario Addison, that could be the case.
With Addison expected to miss a couple of weeks with an injured right foot, the Panthers could turn to Ryan Delaire, the second-year defensive end who’s eligible to come off injured reserve this week.
Delaire, out since late September following arthroscopic knee surgery, practiced Monday and said he feels “pretty fresh” after his two-month layoff. Delaire said he’s not sure whether he’ll be activated before the 10-day, two-game trip to Oakland and Seattle.
“I just know I’m back playing,” Delaire said. “It all depends on how the week goes.”
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Addison, who leads the team with 6.5 sacks, declined comment Monday when he walked through the locker room with a soft cast on his foot.
The NFL tweaked its injured reserve rules this season. Teams are allowed to bring one player back from IR after eight weeks, and no longer have to make that determination when a player goes on the injured list.
Delaire made a splash in his Panthers’ debut last season with two sacks against Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston. But the former Towson standout has only a half-sack in 10 games since.
“Just step up and contribute. That’s something that I ultimately want to do,” Delaire said. “I’ve been trying to do that in the beginning of the season. And even when I was hurt I was just trying to help as much as I could.”